PNB to embrace innovation, digitalisation

PNB chairman Raja Arshad said that despite the volatile market conditions, PNB has consistently delivered competitive returns through its fixed price funds.

PETALING JAYA: Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) intends to embrace innovation and digitalisation to enhance unitholders’ experience, going into 2024.

President and group chief executive Ahmad Zulqarnain Onn said Amanah Saham Bumiputera (ASB) demonstrated robust performance that was underpinned by its asset allocation and diversification strategies.

This came as PNB’s wholly-owned unit trust management company, Amanah Saham Nasional Bhd (ASNB), announced a total income distribution of 5.25 sen per unit for its flagship fund, ASB, for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2023.

“A number of landmark transactions were executed to enhance value for unitholders.

“ASB continues to be the investment of choice for millions of bumiputras delivering consistent returns, forming an integral part of the savings plan for over 10.8 million customers,” he said in a statement.

The total distribution consists of an income distribution of 4.25 sen a unit and a bonus of 1.00 sen a unit. The total payout amounts to RM9.3bil and will benefit 10.8 million ASB unitholders.

Moreover, ASB continues to deliver sustainable and competitive returns, outperforming the benchmark of Malayan Banking Bhd’s 12-month fixed deposit rate.

ASB’s number of accounts increased by more than 200,000 to 10.8 million accounts, which reflected continued confidence in ASB as an essential savings and investment tool for bumiputras in their financial planning, the statement said.

Group chairman Raja Tan Sri Arshad Raja Tun Uda said despite the volatile market conditions, PNB has consistently delivered competitive returns through its fixed price funds, all of which had outperformed their benchmark over the years.

“Therefore, people are encouraged to continue saving for the long term and a secure future. We recognise the importance of championing financial literacy.

“Guided by our recently refreshed purpose, ‘To Uplift the Financial Lives of Malaysians Across Generations’, we are committed to serving our unitholders and delivering competitive outcomes,” he said.

Raja Arshad also noted that this year, PNB saw an increase in the number of accounts to 15.6 million as of October 2023, from 15.2 million last year.

“The sustained popularity of our unit trust products was evident through the findings from the 2023 RinggitPlus Malaysian Financial Literacy Survey, with ASNB products maintaining their position as the most popular investment choice,” he said.

This year also witnessed the launch of the refreshed myASNB Superapp to provide enhanced customer journey and experience to unitholders, as well as PNB’s first inaugural Integrated Annual Report, which embedded sustainability within the group’s reporting framework to elevate its reporting standards and transparency, in accordance with global best practices.

Additionally, following the launch of the ASN Sukuk fund in November 2022, PNB said it has seen healthy demand from unitholders with more than one billion units sold since the launch.

Meanwhile, PNB stated that the investing habit is still not prevalent among Malaysians, with 51% of adults who have yet to start investing and 56% of adults who have not started financial planning for their retirement.

In terms of the level of savings, PNB said 71% managed to save less than RM500 a month while 67% claimed that they can survive for less than three months with their own savings without changing their lifestyles.

As a rule of thumb, PNB said it is recommended to have savings between three to six months of expenses as emergency funds.

Hence, going into 2024, PNB stated it will be rolling out Auto Labur, a recurring investment function on myASNB app, to boost savings habits among Malaysians.

This new function is easily accessible by investors who can invest from as low as RM10. This is part of its efforts in championing financial literacy to uplift the financial lives of Malaysians across generations.

Moreover, PNB will be promoting the ASNB Academy, a financial literacy tool accessible for all Malaysians that serves as a knowledge hub and reference centre on investment and financial planning.

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